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About-Him.Com Devotional 09-28-2013
Thoughts on Isaiah 5
Plantings in the Vineyard of the Lord
God has planted three vineyards: We remember that the first garden that God planted was in Eden. Adam rebelled and the human race fell under the dominion of sin. The eyes and hearts of men continually turned to evil, rather than the righteousness of God. God gave up and wiped that garden off of the face of the earth (Ge. 6:6-7).
In Isaiah 5, the prophet tells us of another garden, of the Lord which was the nation of Israel and commonly referred to as The Vineyard of the Lord.
He had set His love upon them when they were just a ragtag band of people held in slavery in the land of Egypt. They were not yet a country and had nothing to brag about when compared to the great civilizations of the day. The Lord arbitrarily set His love upon them anyway. Those who loved Him and kept His commandants would be blessed and those who hated Him would be destroyed. Sadly they chose the latter (De. 6:7-11). The Lord also set His love upon us in that while we were yet sinners Jesus died for us. If we believe on and accept Him we will be saved, but if we refuse Him, we will die (Jn. 1:12, 3:16-18). It’s our choice, but God is not willing that anyone should perish but that we all should come to repentance (2 Pe. 3:9).
Isaiah 5:1 ¶ Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
The prophet Isaiah is known for his poetic style. At times he acted like a troubadour much like some of our well known folk singers, such as the late Woody Gutherie. It’s not difficult to picture him breaking into song,whether at the temple or in the marketplace, to deliver whatever message the Lord had laid on His heart. In this instance, he sang a song to God Himself, his Well Beloved. The song he sang concerned Israel whom God likened to a vineyard that was suffering from years of neglect.
I’m sure that people gathered around as Isaiah poured out his heart to the Lord. It grieved him that Israel had been planted in a very fertile land, a land of milk and honey (Ex. 3:8). Under their godly kings they had prospered (2 Ch. 34:33) but under their ungodly kings they descended into idol worship and child sacrifice (Le. 18:21).
The Lord had given them peace and victory over their enemies. He considered the people to be His individual plantings in a great vineyard. He cultivated and sent the rain at the proper times for His vines to grow. In frustration the Lord asked, “What more could I do.” Then He rendered His verdict to render judgment.
Isaiah 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
The Lord looked to harvest good grapes but all He could find was wild grapes. He determined to remove His hedge of protection. The northern tribes soon would be taken into captivity by Assyria and lose their identity. A little later, Judah would go into captivity into Babylon. Instead of a fruitful vineyard, all that remained was a patch of weeds.
Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Surely, Israel’s folly is recorded for our benefit, that we not repeat it.
The third garden is presently occupied by the church, those who have believed on and accepted Jesus. We will be joined by a restored Israel in the millennium when Jesus, the Root and Offspring of David (Re. 22:16), sits upon his throne in Jerusalem (Ps. 32:11; Ac. 2:30).
Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever,the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
In the meantime, Jesus had a lot to say about those of us who profess His name. He has high expectations for us just as He had for Israel. We are not our own. Jesus bought us with the price of His blood (1 Co. 6:19-20). He was chastised for our transgressions and we are healed by His stripes (Is. 53:5; 1 Pe. 3:4). He has given us His Spirit to lead and guide us (Is. 49:10; Jn. 14:26) He has a hedge of protection around us in that He has promised to go with us even unto the end of the world (Mt. 28:20). So, what more could we ask for?
Jesus had a lot to say about His present vineyard. Just as He expected good grapes from the vineyard of Israel He expects and demands good fruit from us! Not everyone who calls on His name will enter the kingdom of heaven; only those who do the will of His Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
The writer of the book of Hebrews gives us a dire warning, if we fail to live up to our God given potential. He warns us that, "Our God is not to be trifled with, He is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
May God help us to remember who we were and what we were when He dug us from the pit of sin (Is. 51:1). May we always remember that we are now planted in His vineyard and expected to produce fruit to His pleasing. Wwe will never fail as long as we keep our eyes upon the Lord Jesus (Mt. 28:20).
Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
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Don and Marie Spooner
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